Existence over Consumption

With worldwide news being instantly available to us on a 24/7 loop, and the vast majority of that information being bad news, it’s no wonder that a negative attitude towards many aspects of life has become a common and pervasive outlook in this modern age. 

Most of us consume and consume and consume, from the moment we wake up until the final minutes before we go to bed. 

Have you ever stopped for a second to think if there’s a better way to live? 

Wouldn’t you agree that a life with a little less consumption would do our minds and souls a lot of good? 

Imagine a life where we take a mental break from technology, even for just 30 minutes to an hour at first and expand from there, where we simply just exist and learn to recover from the unhealthy habit and addiction of needing to constantly grab our phones to check social media or the news every few minutes. 

Why not try to pursue a healthier daily routine that is filled with extended periods of complete disconnection from the rest of the world, where you spend time intentionally existing in the present moment, self reflecting and discovering who you are, just to see how it makes you feel? 

We call ourselves human beings, yet ever since smartphones and social media and push notifications came into our lives we rarely have even a split second of time to just “be”. 

We are all attracted to the idea of having peace of mind, feeling more calm and composed (especially during stressful situations) and living in periodic states of joy and contentment, yet our actions typically push us further away from attaining them. 

The solution isn’t complex. 

Stop overdosing on consumption. 

Take charge of your mind and your actions. 

Make the time each day to do what nature has prescribed for us all. 

Just exist. 

With consistency, the results will forever change your life for the better. 

“Disconnect with the world. Reconnect with yourself.”

“Do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life”

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There are endless cliches about living your best life. 

Live every day like it’s your last. You only live once, and so on.

While you’ve most likely heard these hundreds of times, have you ever taken a moment to really contemplate the meaning behind them?

In one of the greatest books of all time (Meditations by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, written nearly 2,000 years ago) Marcus said:

Do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life.” 

Imagine what our lives would be like if we strived to keep this at the top of our mind day in and day out.

By putting in the effort to intentionally experience each thing we do in life as if it literally was the final moments of our existence, our entire world and perspective would change instantly. 

Life would take on a much deeper significance and meaning. 

This technique would bring a heightened sense of awareness to the present, enabling us to live in the moment without distractions about the past or the future. 

Our capacity for appreciating and seeing the beauty in our lives as well as the love and compassion we have for others would increase tenfold. 

Time is finite. 

We all know for certain that one day our time will come to depart from this world. 

Instead of drifting through life and allowing our impulses to dominate our state of mind, we can apply this concept and find the positive in nearly everything that we do (even the things that we don’t always enjoy doing). 

We can inject a sense of urgency into the here and now and unlock the treasure chest of gratitude that is within all of us, leading to an enriched life filled with passion for simply being alive. 

While it may not be realistic to live this way all the time, this method could be a valuable tool to enhance life during both good and bad times, when emotions arise of both positivity and negativity. 

Tony Robbins once said, “If you can learn to love, or at least appreciate, start to enjoy the things you used to get upset about, how much freedom would you have? How much more joy would you have?

As you journey onwards with this insight and new point of view in mind, if you find yourself struggling to enjoy many parts of your day to day, then take it as a sign to make a change in your life for the better. 

All we have is right now. Why not ensure we can make the best of it? 

You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.” – Marcus Aurelius

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Icing on the Cake Perspective

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I realize that many people struggle in their lives, dealing with a wide range of negative emotions and thoughts on a daily basis.

Regret for not taking advantage of past opportunities or making the wrong decision during a pivotal moment. 

Stress and anxiety when it comes to finances and being able to pay the bills and afford a way of living. 

Unhappiness with a career (or lack thereof) that doesn’t provide the chance for advancement.

But what if there was a better approach to all of this? What if there was a way to change your views on life so that your daily 50,000 or so thoughts (the majority being the same more or less as yesterdays and the day before) aren’t dominated by negativity but instead with feelings of gratitude and possibility? 

I call this the Icing on the Cake Perspective.

Right now you are alive (that’s your cake!). 

You got out of bed this morning (willingly or unwillingly is beside the point) and you are breathing, feeling, thinking, and experiencing life. 

Think for a moment about the thousands of people that die each and every day. From the ones who were sick, to those who got in an accident, to those that simply went to bed and never woke up. 

You are living. You have the precious opportunity to continue experiencing the most incredible thing that we as a species are capable of fathoming. Life. 

Your past is over and done with. The decisions you made back then are kaput, but the ones you decide to make right now are in your control.

Why not look at this present moment, and all the future potential moments that may come as an added bonus, as icing on the cake for your life?

Instead of taking the same old run down perspective that’s filled with negativity, it’s in your power to view everything from a refreshingly new vantage point. 

We all have problems to deal with, some increasingly more significant than others. But at least you have the opportunity to work on and get through them, to learn from them, to become a better and improved person because of them.

Just ask yourself: would you rather be dead?

Our time on this planet is transient. We all understand this superficially, but it’s critical to truly comprehend the magnitude of this statement. 

One day we will die. 

One day will be our very last day. 

That means that there will be a final time that we get to experience many of the things in life worth living for, and we most likely won’t even know it

If something is important to you that you don’t do often enough or at all, make the time to do it. 

If you’ve wanted to make a positive life change but have been too fearful to take the first step, make the time to do it. 

If your life is currently not on the path that you want it to be on, make the time to change it. 

As Paul Graham said, “Cultivate a habit of impatience about the things you most want to do.” 

Do not wait. 

Leave your past where it is. 

Take the present and every future moment you’re fortunate to be blessed with from an icing on the cake perspective.

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How Being Proud of Yourself Can Change Your Life

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As we go through life, we are typically our own harshest critic. We are unjustly hard on ourselves and rarely take time to instead think about reasons that we should be proud of our lives and the accomplishments (however big or small) that we’ve achieved.

When I graduated college (with a Journalism degree I figured I’d never use) I decided not to attend graduation for the fact that I felt like I hadn’t really accomplished anything of value and that there was no reason to be proud.

Fast forward a bit, and I had been working for myself for a few years at that point, yet I continued the automatic and unquestioned behavior of not giving myself much credit at all for my endeavors and achievements.

Instead of taking the time to really think about what I’d been able to pursue and do, I shrugged it off and pushed it to the side and told myself that when I accomplished something of significance, of more value, I’d then be proud of myself.

And there lies the problem.

Deciding to postpone being proud of ourselves for some arbitrary time in the future, only once we determine that we are worthy of it.

Sound like something you do in your life?

The great thing is we can change this ridiculous way of viewing life… right this instant.

It all starts with gratitude.

When you pause from your day to day living and intentionally take the time to reflect on your life and what you’re grateful for, you become exposed to a whole new world, a much better and improved one that is incredibly satisfying to live in and be a part of.

Through the consistent practice of gratitude, you inevitably uncover and shed light on the multitude of situations throughout your journey on earth that you are proud of.

Finding the person of your dreams, the job you thought you’d never get, the discipline and habits you’ve instilled to live a healthy lifestyle, your growth and maturity, the lessons you’ve learned from facing adversity, your impact on those you love and care about, and the list goes on and on and on.

By focusing our attention on what we are proud of, we naturally begin to increase our happiness and joy for our lives, leading to a growing and nurturing sense of self love for ourselves that we’ve never experienced before.

These positive emotions radiate through us, becoming easily recognized by others. They are also massively contagious and impactful to those we hold dear in our hearts.

All of this momentum accelerates our confidence and our ability to keep pushing ourselves to further grow, achieve and find meaning and purpose in life.

Flashing back to my days of delaying being proud of myself for some day in the future, I now look at that period of time as a learning lesson as well as a missed opportunity where I could’ve been proud of myself the entire time. I without a doubt had an infinite amount of reasons to be extremely grateful and proud of my life to that point.

Fortunately, over the last few years I have more than made up for those missed chances.

Through a daily morning practice of gratitude (going on 2 uninterrupted years now), where each and every day I think about 3 new things that I’m grateful for that I haven’t already thought about prior (yes, there are a LOT of things to be grateful for), I’ve been able to attain an unshakeable sense of inner peace and feeling of pride for the abundance in my life.

Instead of pushing the feeling of being proud for some other day, I now dive head first into it multiple times a day.

I have so much to be proud of and I’m certain that you do too.

Being proud of yourself is the greatest proof and act of self love and care for oneself and one’s life.

Don’t postpone it any longer.

“You’re so hard on yourself. Take a moment. Sit back. Marvel at your life: at the grief that softened you, at the heartache that wisened you, at the suffering that strengthened you. Despite everything, you still grow. Be proud of this.” –Unknown

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Trading Your Expectations for Appreciation

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Let’s face it, most of us are way too hard on ourselves.

Don Miguel Ruiz once said in his book The Four Agreements, “The human is the only animal on earth that pays a thousand times for the same mistake.”

Some of us set the bar high in hopes of achieving tremendous things while others don’t set one at all in hopes of getting lucky one day or as a way to point the finger externally.

While it’s perfectly normal to want to attain goals and better ourselves, setting expectations of desired outcomes (whether consciously or unconsciously) typically leads to negative emotions such as feelings of disappointment, stress, anxiety, humiliation and failure.

And yet we are all guilty of doing it…

Tony Robbins once said something in an interview that has stuck with me and has since opened my eyes to a new mode of thinking that completely changed my views on expectations and goal setting.

He said: “Trade your expectations for appreciation. It’s a whole new world instantly. If you can’t appreciate this moment, if you can’t find ecstasy in this moment, in a conversation with a friend, or looking in your wife’s eyes, being with your children, going on a run. If you can’t find ecstasy now…I’m here to tell you: more money, more people, more love, more business, more anything is not gonna give you more… If you can’t do it here and now, you’re not going to do it then when you’ve got more.”

Now before you brush this off and get back to your normal thinking routine, try to really understand the essence of what he is saying.

He’s not saying to not aspire to want to obtain things. He’s not saying that in order to be happy you need to become a monk.

He simply is stating that if you stop focusing so much on a desired outcome and learn to appreciate the present and the abundance that you’re surrounded by internally and externally within this very moment, you can gain access to all of the deeply meaningful emotions that you have sought after your entire life.

Money, success, fame and tangible items are great in moderation and can bring us bits of the feelings we want to possess, but they are fleeting and temporary.

Feelings of love, joy and fulfillment are what we truly seek. Acquiring permanent inner peace and gratitude for a life that is well lived is the ultimate objective.

And the crazy thing is that it is possible to achieve this state of mind by trading our expectations for appreciation.

We like to think that in order to make drastic changes in our lives we must take drastic measures, but the opposite is true. A tiny seed of thought that is planted today can blossom into the most beautiful tree if you make the effort to water it each day.

Make the decision right now to begin looking at life from a new lens.

Start appreciating all that is both inwardly and outwardly. Express gratitude for each and every minute of your waking days and realize that any time you do anything may very well be the last time you get to do it.

Don’t stop striving to attain ambitious goals in life, just remember to make the effort to look at them from a different perspective. One where regardless if you achieve them, you’ll appreciate the entire process and journey of being able to pursue it.

And most importantly, make it a priority to become more aware of the gratitude we should all hold in our hearts for the opportunity to be alive right now, breathing, feeling, sensing, thinking, growing, and loving.

“Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.” – Seneca

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The Freedom, Creativity and Growth Theory

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The other day I was enjoying a peaceful disconnecting session where I intentionally sat alone with nothing to distract me but my own thoughts (a practice that everyone should really try to do every so often to really put life in perspective and to gain clarity).

During this time I asked myself to describe who I am, if I didn’t know me.

I started by mentioning my name, age, where I live, what I do for a living, etc, all things that describe me that can easily be understood and seen externally. 

But then I started to explain the inner description of myself, and how I’m very optimistic, motivated, filled with energy, disciplined and grateful for my life. I went on to think about how if my life were to end today, I would be content with how my 30 years of living have gone.

How I’ve been able to acquire inner peace that allows me to feel a sense of fulfillment and meaning in my life. 

I realized that unfortunately most people do not feel this way, so from there I tried to understand how and why I do, what triggered the start of it and how did it evolve into what it is right now? 

These questions sprouted a theory that I’ll attempt to detail below. 

Obviously, this is from my viewpoint and experiences and it may not align with your thoughts and beliefs. Regardless, my hope is that the words to follow can be of inspiration to whoever may be reading this. 

So I’d like to call this theory: The Freedom, Creativity and Growth Theory

Freedom

When I reflect on life, I race back to my days in college/the few years after graduating and how very fortunate I was. 

My parents had fully paid for my education in advance and provided me with an “allowance” to live off of, without ever having to worry about finding a job. After graduation, they welcomed me back home with open arms, without ever asking me to pay for rent or for the food on my plate each night. 

With money not being a concern, my responsibilities consisted of simply going to school during college days and trying to find a job/start my own business when I graduated, and then having the freedom to do whatever I wanted to afterwards. 

At the time I didn’t truly understand the value of this free time, but years later I have come to see it as one of the most important periods of my life. 

With all that extra time, I was able to start my journey into the path of creativity. 

Freedom Theory

In order to advance to the second stage, Creativity, one must gain freedom in the currency of quality time. 

Quality time doesn’t have to be bountiful initially, but there must be enough of it to begin down the path of creativity.

You may be thinking that it’s easy for me to say all of this because of how fortunate I was/am, and you’re probably right. It is easy for me to say it.

All of that free time enabled me to take action, learn, experiment, fail, get back up and try again, and so on and so forth.

But just because I had copious amounts of free time and lack of concern regarding if I’d have food on the table, it didn’t necessarily guarantee me anything in life. I had to have the discipline and the will to want to achieve certain goals. 

We all have 24 hours in the day, and more likely than not you spend 8-10 hours of it commuting to work and working, as well as another 7-8 hours sleeping. On the low end, that leaves you with roughly 6 hours per day to do whatever it is you have to do. Factor out another 1-3 hours for daily responsibilities and maintenance, and you still have at the low end 3 or so hours of time that can be of the quality currency if you choose to make it so. 

The point I’m trying to make here is that you don’t need unlimited free time, you just need to proactively decide right now to give those few hours of quality time each day to yourself. 

Honor yourself with them, make them yours, choose to use them effectively and never let anyone or anything take them away from you. 

Creativity

In P.D. Ouspensky’s book “The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution”, the author states that there are four centers in the body, the Intellectual (thinking), the Instinctive (automatic), the Moving (having learned/been taught) and the Emotional (feeling).

Within these four centers, are three sub centers, the Intellectual, Emotional and Mechanical. 

The Intellectual sub center of the Emotional center is the gateway to creation. 

When we have free quality time and decide to use it wisely, our emotions begin to think for themselves. 

Inspiration and motivation allow us to start taking action, and the unraveling effect that this has cannot be overstated. Momentum kicks in and we lose track of time, some call it flow state. 

This sense of creativity is when we feel most alive. 

Flash back to my college/post college days and this is exactly what my freedom enabled me to dive deep into. 

I didn’t have a clear picture in my head of what exactly I wanted to create, but I did know for certain that making a lot of money was a main priority and leading motivator. 

And so I went, trying to wrestle my way through the business world. I took initiative, I tried to think outside of the box, I simply did not stop and kept moving forward. 

Each day I woke up with a sense of vigor, excited and determined to make something happen. 

Through consistent effort and resilience, one thing led to another, which led to another, which led to where I am today. 

All of those experiences and lessons pushed me to seek out and realize my potential and what I’m truly capable of, leading me to growth. 

Creativity Theory

In order to advance to the third stage, Growth, one must learn to consistently access and flex their creativity muscles. 

I know exactly what you’re thinking right now…you don’t know what to do, how to do it, or where to start. 

The best part about having free quality time and entering a state of creativity is that you don’t have to know what exactly you’re doing or going to do. You don’t have to have set plans or goals, you can figure it all out on the fly.

I realize that uncertainty is scary for most people, but you have to realize that anyone who’s ever acquired any form of success, be it financially, spiritually, physically, etc, encounters, deals with and thrives off of the feeling of uncertainty on a daily basis. 

If you keep an open mind and attempt to look at uncertainty in a different light, one where it can be leveraged and used to motivate you versus make you timid, you’ll discover just how far you can go and how much you can transform and grow into the person you want to be. 

Seneca once said “There is nothing that will not surrender to persistent treatment, to concentrated and careful attention.” 

Growth

With freedom and creativity in your hands, it’s inevitable that growth will shortly follow. 

Over the years my experiences and lessons have led me to seek out various books, many of which have deeply impacted my life. 

With the accumulation of first hand knowledge and collective wisdom from some of the greatest creators of all time, I’ve been able to make leaps of progress in my life in all aspects (financially, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, etc).

But even more so than just making the progress, I’ve been able to extract the seeds of insights from those personal experiences and books to raise my level of consciousness and awareness so that I can see the progress, feel it, be grateful for it and ultimately be genuinely proud of myself for it. 

I have attained meaning and fulfillment for the fact that I’ve been able to apply these teachings into my life while simultaneously influencing those I love and care about the most. 

This has led to gaining a clear understanding of certain principles and modes of thinking that enable me to live life with much more capacity for gratitude and joy than one could ever imagine. 

Growth Theory

Having chosen to give yourself the quality time, diving head first into the state of creation and sticking with it despite any feelings of uncertainty, you ultimately arrive at growth.

The fruits of your labor harvest in this stage. You transform into your potential. 

With the abundance of wisdom you’ve gained, you realize that whatever your goal may have been at the start (for me it was simply to make a lot of money) is no longer what you truly seek. 

The theory comes full circle here, where as you grow you discover that what you want most is the freedom to continue creating and growing

That the feeling of uncertainty and pushing yourself to reach new heights of potentiality and the sense of aliveness and growth it pulsates throughout your body is what brings the deepest recognition of meaning and fulfillment into your life. 

To wrap it up…

This theory doesn’t discriminate. While everyone’s circumstances are different, just know that many others in much worse off situations than your own were able to overcome the odds, and so can you. 

For all we know, this may be our one and only life to live, the ultimate question boils down to: How will you choose to live yours? 

“Circumstance doesn’t make the man, it reveals him to himself.” – Epictetus

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Expressing Gratitude for What We’ve Been Given For Free

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When was the last time you contemplated and expressed gratitude for the things that you were given for free in this life?

Approximately 80% of older adults have at least one chronic disease. 

Almost 40% of people over the age of 65 experience some form of memory loss.

Around 795 million people around the world are deprived of enough food to lead a healthy active life (1 in 9 people on earth). 

Your health, your ability to create new memories/recollect old ones and where you were born/raised are some of the many things that were given to you for free, without you ever asking for them. 

It’s all too easy for us to get caught up in the day to day of our lives, focusing on external goals and possessions that we seek to attain or pay for.  

Unfortunately when we do this, we typically leave no room for thought or consideration about what matters most. 

Instead of being actively grateful and truly appreciating what’s been given to us for free, it’s put on the back burner and taken for granted.

Can you imagine no longer being able to use your memory? 

It’s something that is constantly being used throughout your entire life and helps connect you to the world.

Without memory we wouldn’t be able to remember past experiences, and without past experiences we wouldn’t be able to have any references to who we are as a person. 

How scary of a world would it be to wake up one day and not know who you are? 

Stop what you’re doing for a while. 

Make the decision to pause for a moment and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life. 

Give priority to focusing your attention towards what you’re grateful for, especially those things that you’ve been blessed with for free.

Once this is turned into a habit, your life will permanently change for the better. You’ll begin to strengthen your inner peace of mind and develop an unwavering sense of happiness that lasts forever. 

“Everything that’s really worthwhile in life comes to us free – our minds, our souls, our bodies, our hopes, our dreams, our intelligence, our love of family and friends and country. All of these priceless possessions are free.” – Earl Nightingale

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Attaining Happiness by Detaching from Outcomes

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In this modern world that we live in, everything is about instant gratification.

You’re phone makes a noise and instantly you know that you just received a text message, so you stop what you’re doing to open your phone and read it. The same goes for social media posts, every like or comment you get gives you a high feeling. 

Yet, when it comes to happiness the majority of us are perfectly content with delaying the gratification until an arbitrary or set goal is achieved.

But why? 

This widespread mindset and attitude is totally flawed. 

By holding off on feeling happy, you make the goal you strive for as the end all be all. Without much conscious thought, you automatically determine that only once you’ve attained this goal will you then feel happiness and all of the positive feelings that accompany it. 

You’re subconsciously deciding to give yourself permission to feel happy only based on an outcome.

While there’s a strong possibility that once you do reach your goal you’ll feel like you’re experiencing joy and/or pride, in reality it will be more so a fleeting sense of relief. Once these short lived sensations pass, you’ll simply move on to the next goal in front of you and repeat the vicious cycle again and again. 

This is no way to live life. 

Happiness lives in and can only be felt in the present, not in the future when you hope to achieve your ideals.  

Do you really think that once you reach your aspirations you’ll just magically and permanently feel happiness and everything that isn’t going well in your life will instantly turn around for the better?

I call bullshit. 

Instead of focusing so much of your time and energy on a big event/goal, it’s essential to shift your mindset and attitude by detaching from outcomes. 

F the BS: It’s time you realize that you can be happy right NOW, regardless of your circumstances. 

It starts by realizing that you are both your best friend and your worst enemy. Mastering the self is the most difficult yet most rewarding thing you can do in your life.

You can begin to create positive habits and routines in your daily life. Instilling rituals that enable you to slow down, reflect on your life and discover and release regrets/resentment about your past and anxiety/stress about the future. 

Once you can take a deep look within and eradicate these negative emotions, you can start to live in the present moment. When you live in the present, you’ll enter into a state called flow which will naturally make you feel happy and grateful (paradoxically it will also allow you to attain goals easier). 

As you practice with persistence and consistency, you’ll begin to realize that life is all about the journey and trying to live in the moment as much as possible. 

Our daily habits and routines are what remains long after any big goal is ever reached. It’s actually the small wins that we constantly achieve that cumulatively add up throughout our lives that have the most profound impact on us.

Only when we become enlightened by these revelations can we truly attain a lifetime of infinite happiness, despite any specific situation that we find ourselves in. 

“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.” Gautama Buddha

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What’s the Point of Life?

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Taking the time to stop and realize just how small we are in the grand scheme of things can help one see life from a refreshing perspective.

Imagine zooming out from the city you live in and seeing the entire city from high above along with a tiny dot of where you are, then zooming out from the state and doing the same thing, then from the continent, the entire planet of earth, the moon, our galaxy. Then try to fathom the concept that we live in just one galaxy amongst billions to trillions of other galaxies in a universe that is ever expanding. 

It naturally makes you think of asking the question, what’s the point of life?

While it’s quite possible that there is no true meaning of life, here’s my take on it.

We are here for a short blip of time, and then we die. There’s no guarantee that we will still be ourselves when we pass away, or that we will even know that we once lived and existed in this world that we call our home. Or that there will be anything at all.  

So why not take the time to strengthen our minds through the power of reason and thought?

Why not take the time to better understand our true values and beliefs, so that we can then create rituals to act upon each day that serve as our guide towards achieving and maintaining those subconscious convictions deeply rooted within? 

To take the time to become disciplined so that we can discover and unlock our potential and push ourselves to the limits on what we are capable of.

To take up the technique of meditation, so that we can slow our minds down, feeling the calmness and peace from within that can be carried throughout each passing day and utilized to help navigate the plethora of decisions that must be made practically every second. 

To learn the ways of the ancient Stoics, such as that life is filled with impermanence. That everything we have is on loan and can be taken back at any moment without any given notice.

That it isn’t just about living every day as if it were your last, but every moment as if it were your last.

That’s the unique thing about life, most of the time we never know the exact moment when it will be our time to go. Taking the time to recognize that each time you do something could be the very last time you do that specific thing can exponentially increase your capacity for joy and gratitude. 

So while we are here, through my life experiences up until this point, it makes most sense to me that we focus on figuring out what is truly important to each and every one of us, and then fighting for it and never settling for anything less.

That we take leaps of faith into the unknown, we view fear, mistakes and failures as allies and the golden ticket to being able to strengthen ourselves and take our lives to a new heightened level and more improved version of what we once were.

That we realize that time is the greatest and most valuable currency of all. That we are given the same amount of hours in a day regardless of our net worth and that it’s in our control to choose how we spend it. 

True success isn’t about the amount of money you have in your bank account, the material possessions you own, the recognition you receive from others or about reaching a specific goal. 

True success is the feeling of knowing that you have chosen the right path in this one life that you have to live, of who you have evolved into becoming while on the journey and ultimately what you’re able to give and share with others because of it. 

While we may be basically meaningless in the big picture of the universe, in this very moment of time we are breathing and alive and have it in our hands  to live purposeful and fulfilling lives.

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Our Capacity for Joy

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Most of us don’t take the time to disconnect. 

To sit and relax by taking a few deep breaths. To close our eyes and meditate or reflect on our lives and just how precious, delicate and incredible it truly is.  

Life races by while we are on auto-pilot, never fully present.

It’s usually not until something devastating happens that we really get a wake up call. That our senses and emotions kick into high gear and we begin to consciously think about our lives and its impermanence. 

Life. is. Impermanent.

We know that nothing lasts forever, that all good things come to an end. 

Yet, we take those good things for granted and before we know it, they’re gone. Never having truly appreciated it. Never having intentionally set aside the time to just exist and mindfully contemplate over how grateful we are for what we do have. 

With the recent death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13 year old daughter and the other people that were on board the helicopter that crashed in California, grief has reverberated throughout the world. 

Powerful shock waves of life’s impermanence and times of cruelty have pulsated through our mind, body and soul, forcing us to confront the hard truth that we own and control next to nothing in this world. 

And it’s in these times of realization that we come alive, fully present and alert, and start to focus on what’s truly important in this concept we call life. 

But it doesn’t have to be this way. 

We can become more present in our waking moments. We can stop taking what’s valuable to us for granted and start appreciating and loving more, both big and small. We can begin to feel how lucky we are for life and cherish waking up each day, being able to breathe, smile, laugh, hug, speak, hear, walk, feel, see. 

Through the practice of both positive and negative visualization, we can achieve all of this. And when we decide it’s finally time to engage in and pursue this technique that dates back to thousands of years ago, we can do something that every human being consciously or unconsciously strives for. 

We can increase our capacity for joy. 

“By contemplating the impermanence of everything in the world, we are forced to recognize that every time we do something could be the last time we do it, and this recognition can invest the things we do with a significance and intensity that would otherwise be absent.” – William B. Irvine

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Zero BS on taking Control of your Life. No spam.